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I manage a SMB network, 100 desktops, 25 laptops; all windows XP or Vista. The desktops all store data on servers, but the laptops are sometimes off the network for weeks at a time or even indefinitely.
We haven't been able to find a good solution for backing up all or part of the laptop data.

Considerations: Expense - cheap is always good. (and gets approved easier)

Central/Partially centrally managed - We would like to be able to have reporting on what is being backed up.

Configurable - ability to limit bandwidth used at times. (don't need to saturate the network when the sales team has a meeting in the office first thing in the morning) ability to recognize when on a decent connection and our VPN and trickle updates in.

Synchronization - ability to move data both directions - updates from files on the network to the laptop.

Thanks, Brian

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6 Answers 6

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Jungledisk can do this, except (AFAIK) the detect VPN part, and the synchronization is not automated, although you can mount it as a network drive.

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Looks good and not too expensive. thank you. –  Brian May 22 '09 at 21:39
Then you can use the up-vote, or accept answer buttons. If you want to. –  Zsolt Botykai May 23 '09 at 6:25

You might want to take a look at iFolder. It syncs the folders the user designates to the server and can work over SSL for encryption purposes. They can even share these folders with multiple users, it also works as a handy way to move them to a new laptop.

It does include some LDAP integration as well.

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Looks good. Free is nice. Do you (or anyone else) have experience implementing it in production? –  Brian May 22 '09 at 21:39
I've used an older version with support purchased through Novell. I haven't implemented this version yet, just installed it on a test server so far. Hoping to get to the project in the next week or two. –  Leroy Clark May 23 '09 at 0:59

I did not see the bi-directional sync requirements - below are some good options if you are just looking to back up a bunch of laptops. For sync and backup look at dropbox


Other backup options I have implemented:

We have Mozypro configured for about 25-30 laptops in this situation. Central management and much much cheaper than the other big guys in this space (i365/Evault). You are going to pay about 50 cents a GB and 3-4 bucks a machines per month.

They will ship you full DVDs or hard drives if needed for large data recoveries but they won't take disks from you to seed the system like i365 (now Evault) though this is probably not a concern with laptops.

Another in house option might be DLO form Symantec but it might be tough to set up if they don't connect to a vpn on a regular basis.

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I can't vouch for it as I've never used it, but you could look into Mozy. They have a Pro version that looks like it meets your requirements.

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I believe EMC Retrospect woud be a good match for the backup side. Maybe you would need to complement it with some configuration for blocking out the VPN.

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I have no specific experience with the following, but these are the solutions I have identified for my requirement, which is pretty similar:

www.cofio.com Java based and linux server compatible, able to handle multiple levels of branch offices, and probably gives you a view of what's happening and not happening

www.appassure.com/applications/replay-4/replay-for-windows-desktops/ handles desktop without specifics for laptops but should be able to make it

www.atempo.com/solutions/busi_protection.asp the closer to your requirements but you need to be an MS boutique

www.memeo.com/business/backup_pro.php mix of local and cloud backup

www.acronis.com/backup-recovery/online/ cheap online backup : 50$ per year for 250Gbytes with a management console

Now you need to choose :-)

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